I recently completed my quest of finding the best way of organizing themed homeschool units. There is something about homeschooling that takes this wanna be minimalist and turns her into a sort of educational hoarder. Before I consider Parker has mastered a concept I need to present it to him in several different forms and fashions. I also need to pull out units we have previously completed and do regular reviews. Being organized in a space as small as mine is paramount to the illusion of my sanity.
I came across this idea after reading this post by (This is where I should link to the blog of the originator of this system. Alas, I’ve lost that link. If it sounds familiar to anyone, please let me know so I can give credit where credit is due!) I have to tell you, out of all the ways I’ve spent organizing homeschooling units, this has by far been the best.
The originator of this method recommends purchasing the poly envelopes at Target. On my first trip to the big red bulls-eye there were none to be found. So I hit up a couple of office supply stores as well as Amazon.
The prices at the office supply stores were kinda breath taking, but the quality was good. I also liked that the ones I got at the office supply store were all the same color. The price on Amazon was better but the quality was….eh. Very flimsy AND I couldn’t get my labels to stick on them. VERY buggy for this Type A Personality.
So I’m lending my voices to the originator in saying that the poly envelopes (I finally DID score some!) are not only a great quality, but the best price too. And since I’ll need lots of these, that is good to know!
I just slip the entire unit into the poly-envelope and create a label for it. If my unit has small pieces I stick those into a baggie before putting them in an envelope. Organizing themed homeschool units and flannel board stories has never been easier!
I’m also using this same idea to store all of Parker’s flannel board stories. I used to use a giant three ring binder, but we quickly out grew that option.
The poly envelopes fit perfectly in the canvas totes I also purchased at Target. I’ve been seeing these same sort of totes on sale everywhere lately for as low as $3.00 each.
The left hand tote holds all of the seasonal and holiday themed homeschool units. The middle totes holds all the other themed units, and the last tote holds the flannel board stories. I have one more tote in the closet for literature based learning themes.
I’ll still keep our daily practice worksheets stored in my large 3 ring binders. Hey, if it ain’t broke, why fix it? It’s super easy to thumb through the index tabs and find the exact practice sheet I’m looking for.
I still use my method of pulling out everything I need for an entire unit and put it all into a basket. It drives me nuts to sit down to a lesson and then realize I still need to pull something from my files or art cabinet.
How do you organize your themed homeschool units? Do you work within a small space like we do, or are you blessed with a big space?